Players union launched in women’s rugby for the first time

13 Dec 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

The Women’s Rugby Association, which is being launched today with World Cup Winner Nolli Waterman as CEO, is a new players’ union which will provide support and a collective voice for Premier 15s players.

The Allianz Premier 15s is at the forefront of domestic women’s rugby. The standard of rugby is accelerating to new levels, audiences are growing and there is unprecedented coverage in the media. During this period of significant growth, it is critical that players are supported and protected on and off the field and have a voice on the future of the game.

Nolli Waterman, Co-Founder and CEO, said: “At a pivotal time in domestic women’s rugby, it is important that players are appropriately supported and protected on and off the field so they can perform at their best in rugby and beyond.

Players also need to be given the opportunity to have their voice and collective opinions heard to ensure they can help shape the progression and sustainability of the game they are at the heart of.”

The Women’s Rugby Association will not only act as a collective voice, it will also provide support with individual Premier 15s contracts and commercial agreements; advocacy for consistent medical and welfare provision across the Premier 15s competition; education and support on personal and professional welfare and development; and access to virtual and physical events with leaders from across sport and business.

The Women’s Rugby Association will be governed by a Players’ Board made up of one player from each Premier 15s club, elected by members who play for the relevant club. There will also be an Executive Committee consisting of a Chair and Vice Chair who will be elected from the Players’ Board, Chief Executive, and a number of Directors.

The Women’s Rugby Association was set up by Nolli Waterman, Emma Lax, Polly Barnes and Holly Hammill, with the support of partners Morgan Sports Law, Riskhub and Cake.